|Free Radical Design Ltd|
The current logo.
The original logo until 2006.
|Also Known As|| -FRD|
|Key People|| Dr David Doak (Manager)|
Steve Ellis (Manager)
TimeSplitters Future Perfect
Free Radical Design are the developers of the whole TimeSplitters series, led by David Doak and Steve Ellis, who both along with Graeme Norgate and Karl Hilton, broke off from developer Rare in February 1999 to form their own company.
With a team of only eighteen, Free Radical shipped and delivered the first person shooter TimeSplitters to Eidos for the PS2 launch in October 2000. Despite the time constraints and pressures of building the company and its technology from scratch, they were the only European developer to hit the launch date without any delays.
Constantly seeking to improve themselves and their games, TimeSplitters 2 went into development with an emphasis on evolving the theme with a fuller story and an even more satisfying single player mode. Along side this expansion, the multiplayer and mapmaker elements pushed the quality and replay value to new heights. Once again, Free Radical delivered. True to form, TimeSplitters 2 came in on time and on budget for Eidos in September 2002. It was met enthusiastically by some of the best reviews of its time.
By now, Free Radical's team had grown to twenty-eight. Working closely with their new additions, the Directors decided to develop a new third person Intellectual Property in the form of psychic thriller Second Sight - to be published by Codemasters on PlayStation2, Xbox, Gamecube and PC.
Tempted by EA into returning to the TimeSplitters franchise, Free Radical's ever-expanding team set to work on TimeSplitters Future Perfect. Along side the innumerable extra features that fans had come to expect, the single player story took their experience to new ground. Expanding one of the most striking heroes from TimeSplitters 2, the story took man's man 'Sergeant Cortez' through the complex maze of time continuum - utilising the unique 'meet yourself' gameplay.
Over the years Free Radical Design has received numerous awards and nominations including CTW Developer of the Year 2001, the DEVELOP Industry Excellence award for Best Independent Development Studio in 2003, along with five BAFTA nominations for TimeSplitters 2 in 2004, and two BAFTA nominations for Second Sight in 2005. Furthermore, they were listed in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 as one of the UK's fastest growing technology companies.
Of the four games produced by Free Radical, the average number of units sold per game is well over a million. With a dozen awards and many nominations under their belt, Free Radical are not resting on their laurels. Their hundred-strong team is chomping at the bit - with new technology comes amazing new challenges, and amazing is what Free Radical does best.
On December 18, 2008, Free Radical Design employees arrived to work to find the doors locked, and instructions to convene at a hotel that afternoon to discuss the company's future says Eurogamer. Control of company operations were handed over to administrators ReSolve Partners LLC.
According to Joystiq.com, the company laid off 140 workers, or roughly 75% of its workforce, condensing the payroll down to a "skeleton" team of just 40 people. All employees were paid through the end of the year. Representatives from Monumental Games were said to be present at the meeting, handing out job applications to the recently laid-off.
FRD co-founders David Doak and Steve Ellis have departed from the company to venture on a new project dubbed Pumpkin Beach, according to Smashpad. The "new" studio was supposedly in-house for several months before the company took a tumble. According to Ellis, Pumpkin Beach will produce fare unlike anything Free Radical Design tried its hand at. However, it has recently been discovered that Ellis will continue work at FRD despite being part of Pumpkin Beach. The current status of Pumpkin Beach is unknown.
There are several theories as to what caused FRD's financial woes. LucasArts supposedly yanked the commission for the independent developer to create the latest Star Wars: Battlefront game. This, combined with mediocre sales of Haze may have spelled the studio's downfall.
Fortunately, it has been announced that the studio has been bought by Crytek, a German game studio owned by EA responsible for their work on the Crysis series on the PC. Since then, Free Radical Design has changed their name to 'Crytek UK'. Some of the employees laid off at the end of last year have been brought back onto the Crytek UK team. However, it has yet to be confirmed if TimeSplitters 4 is still in development. The Free Radical Design website has since been taken down.
|Name||Role||Where have I seen him?||Website|
|David Doak||Director/Head||Interviews Galore!||www.frd.co.uk|
|Steve Ellis||Director/Head||Written Interviews||www.frd.co.uk|
|Karl Hilton||Director/Head of Art||Written Interviews||www.frd.co.uk|
|Graeme Norgate||Music and Sounds||FRD's Articles||www.graemenorgate.com|
|Christian Marcussen||Music||A few TS forums||www.marcussenmusic.com|
|David Conley||Programmers||On ts3.net as RealWorld666||www.frd.co.uk|
|Derek Littlewood||Creative Director of Haze||On the Haze forums as FRD_Neko||www.frd.co.uk|